Nigeria once again displayed why they are the most dominant force in underage football, with a good performance against the USA. It was a dominant display from the defending champions, who had 60 percent of the total ball possession, and also preventing the best U.S players from having a say in the game.
The U.S chances were few and far between. Their best on the day came early in the first half when Borussia Dortmund youngster Christian Pulisic dispossessed Nigeria right back John Lazarus and drove into the box, but his low, hard cross was cleared just ahead of forward Joe Gallardo’s run.
A Nigerian fan, Ike Thaddeus, expressed his delight on the team’s performance. According to him, the Eaglets are ready for a fifth U17 world cup trophy.
“The way they played was very good. I used to have doubts after the African championships, but I have trust in them now because of the way they have played. I just hope they will go and win the trophy now”
Nigerian players celebrating one of their goals against USA. PHOTO: REUTERS
The dominance of the Eaglets were so massive that the US did not manage to put a single shot on target on the day.
The US are next in action on Tuesday against Croatia, before finishing group play on Friday against the host Chile.
90 min: three more minutes added by the officials. Nigeria trying to stretch the game beyond the reach of the U.S. Chukwueze with one last push for Nigeria, but was flagged offside. And that was the last action of the game, as the referee blows the final whistle. Nigeria kicks off their title defense in style, and the U.S will now need to avoid defeat in their second group game.
Full time. Nigeria 2, USA 0.
61 min: Nigeria with a fantastic response immediately after almost conceding a goal. Great pass from the midfield into the feet of Osimhen who made no mistake in dispatching it into the opponents’ net. Trusty really having a bad game, as he got caught out for the second goal. The defender failed to step out with the rest of the back three, hence playing the Nigerian attacker onside. Nigeria two goals up, and that may be game over
59 min: Nervy moments for the Nigerian supporters as the U.S almost grabbed an equalizer. Good ball from the flanks, as Wright and Pulisic combining once more for another good attack, but the Nigerian goalkeeper was up to the task. Great save, from a wonderful effort
57 min: The U.S looking for a quick response as Pulisic drives through the heart of the Nigerian defense. A good ball to Haji Wright who twists and turns in an effort to dispose his marker. Move cut out, but the officials awards a free kick against Nigeria for foul play. Not a well struck free kick.
50 min: Nigeria looking the better of the two with large percentage of the ball possession. Funsho Bamgboye still causing trouble for the U.S defense. The U.S really on the ropes, as the Nigerian winger puts in a good cross in the U.S box. Trusty failed an attempted clearance. The ball ping-pongs around the box before falling to Chukwudi Agor, who made no mistake from eight yards out, and Nigeria gabs their first goal of the tournament. Nigeria one goal up.
45 min: Nigeria gets us underway into the second half. The U.S immediately apply pressure to win the ball. Effort pays off, as the Young Yanks win an early throw-in.